The Benefits of Juicing
Is juicing a health fad or a genuine therapeutic remedy?
If you don’t like eating raw fruits and veggies, juicing them or blending them into a smoothie could help you meet your nutritional needs. Freshly-made juices are a source of concentrated nutrients and many phytochemicals. Unfortunately, this is not true for commercial, store-bought juices. Since the nutrient content of juice diminishes after exposure to heat and light, canned juices are not all that beneficial.The average antioxidant density, for example, of apple, orange, and grapefruit is 23 to 54% higher than the average antioxidant density of name-brand and store-brand juices for each fruit.1
Are Smoothies Better Than Juices?
Liquid foods are not always the best answer. While juice is more nutrient dense than the same volume of the original food2, it has very little, if any, fiber but many calories. Fiber helps the peristalsis in the intestines. Plus, fiber also gives us satiety. Blending fruits and veggies into a smoothie helps to preserve the fiber content. Since juicing of food increases the surface area, it is subject to degradation from oxidation if not drunk immediately. Because juicing uses more fruits and vegetables than eating whole foods, it is not cheap. Many beneficial phytochemicals are found in the skin and pulp. For these reasons blending them into a smoothie is a better choice.
Juicing and Appetite Control
Appetite control is essential for needed weight loss! There is nothing wrong with drinking a four ounce class of fresh juice as a supplement thirty minutes prior to one meal. There is other benefit of eating whole foods is that they require chewing that “juicing advocates” for weight loss, miss. Researchers at Iowa State University found that chewing food thoroughly — 40 times before swallowing — also reduces food intake in healthy young adults. In this study there was an increase in CCK, a hormone related to fullness and satiety. In contrast, there was a reduction in ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite.3 Chewing healthful foods helps us to control appetite in another way. Another study compared 35 with 10 chews per mouthful. The higher chewing counts reduced food intake despite increasing chewing speed and despite doubling meal duration.4 In other words, chewing our food increases satiety so we won’t get too hungry. This does not happen when we drink juice.
Juicing & the Stomach
When we chew our foods well, a compound known as urogastrone is made.5 This compound is essential for the health of our digestive system. For example, by inhibiting hydrochloric acid in the stomach, it helps to protect us from developing ulcers. Clearly juicing does not offer these two health benefits.
The Adverse Effects of Juicing
There is another benefit to eating fruits and vegetables in their unprocessed, natural state. The more foods are refined and processed, the higher their glycemic index(or blood sugar response). Take apples, for example. One classic study examined the effects of eating apples in three different forms—apple juice, applesauce, and whole apples. Even when the same number of calories was consumed, eating the whole apples kept the blood sugar steadier than either drinking the apple juice or eating applesauce. The more a fruit or starchy vegetable is processed, the sooner, faster, and deeper the drop of the blood sugar is.6 This rise and rapid drop of blood sugar has an adverse effect on our mental performance. This is more pronounced with juices made from fruits or starchy vegetables rather than non-starchy vegetable juices. If one dislikes salad, juicing of low-calorie vegetables (tomatoes, celery, kale, etc.) in just a little pineapple or preferably carrot juice, might be the better way to go than consuming fruit juice.
Fruit, Not Juice, for Diabetes Prevention
A combination of 3 large studies of more than 187,000 individuals found that greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk.7 If you want to prevent diabetes type 2, skip the juice, eat the fruit.
Fruit Juicing Increases Triglycerides
In other research, the diets of 90,513 men and 141,536 women were observed and the amounts of fruits and vegetables eaten were directly associated to stroke risk. Remarkably, for each additional serving of fruit, stroke risk was decreased by 11%. Additional vegetable servings only decreased stroke risk by 3% each. This dose-response relationship indicates that fruit, and fruit and vegetable consumption, decrease the risk of stroke.8
Whole fruits are packaged with a winning combination—fructose and fiber. But subtract the fiber, and fruit juices increase serum triglycerides (blood fats). Over a period of time, these fats, when elevated, increase your risk for atherosclerosis, strokes, and gout. Elevated triglycerides eventually damage the liver, pancreas, nerves, and kidneys.
Heart Health: Apples versus Apple Juice
Apples are rich in polyphenols and pectin, two bioactive constituents which help to protect us from heart and blood vessel disease. However, these components act differently after being processed into juice products. Clear juice is free of pectin and has reduced phytochemicals. Pectin is necessary for the cholesterol-lowering effect of apples in healthy humans so that, as far as heart health is concerned, clear apple juice is not a good substitute for eating apples.9
- If you dislike raw fruits and vegetables, juicing can help you.
- Make whole fruit and veggie smoothies as these are superior to juice.
- Whole fruits that require chewing are superior over fruit juice in reducing the risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
- Juices made from non-starchy vegetables are better than fruit juice.
- Juices should be freshly made and drunk within a few minutes.
- Fruit juice should only be used occasionally.
Keywords: juicing benefits, juicing and diabetes, juicing and weight loss, juicing diabetes, juicing health benefits, juicing disadvantages, juicing pros and cons
- Crowe, KM, 10.1016/j.jand.2013.04.024. Epub 2013 Jun 26. Deconstructing a fruit serving: comparing the antioxidant density of select whole fruit and 100% fruit juices. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Oct; 113(10):1354-8
- Charles-Marcel, Z. MD, Juicing, The Journal of Health & Healing, 2-3
- Smit HJ, et al., Does prolonged chewing reduce food intake? Fletcherism revisited Appetite. 2011 Aug; 57(1):295-8
- DeRose, David, M.D., Ask the Doctor: Juicing, www.newstartclub.com
- Nedley, Neil, Proof Positive, Nedley Publishers, 1998
- Muraki, I, et al., Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ. 2013; 347:f6935
- Dauchet L, Amoyel P, Dallongeville J., Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. Neurology 2005; 65(8):1193-1197
- Ran-Haren G, et al., Intake of whole apples or clear apple juice has contrasting effects on plasma lipids in healthy volunteers. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Dec; 52(8):1875-89